- Reuters/Charles Mostoller
Only 57.5% of Americans voted in the 2012 presidential election. So to increase voter turnout, many believe online voting is the answer.
While online voting is unavailable in most states, some have adopted online voting methods to help certain absentee voters cast their ballots.
Most online voting rights are reserved for voters that fall under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA). Unfortunately, UOCAVA voters face difficulties sending and receiving absentee ballots.
Take military personnel, for instance. The standard way of returning an absentee ballot is via postal mail, but many states also allow returning ballots using fax. However, military personnel are often placed in remote areas without consistent access to mail services, so casting votes online might be more reliable for those people.
This list looks specifically at states that allow voters to use email or an online portal to cast their votes.
- Thomson Reuters
Alaska is perhaps the most lenient with online voting. Any qualified voter is allowed to vote through Alaska’s Absentee Voting by Electronic Transmission system. A voter simply has to apply to vote online 15 days before Election Day. The state posted this video to help voters understand how to vote online.
- Business Insider
Arizona permits certain UOCAVA voters with authorization from their county to use an online voting portal. This will allow voters to upload their absentee ballots straight to the website.
- Flickr/mark gallagher
In Colorado, UOCAVA are the only citizens that can vote online using email.
Delaware also allows online voting for UOCAVA voters via email.
District of Columbia
While not a state, Washington D.C. also allows voters that fall under UOCAVA to vote via email.
Indiana allows voters that fall under UOCAVA to vote via email.
In Iowa, all absentee ballots must be returned via postal mail, unless you are “an active member of the army, navy, marine corps, merchant marine, coast guard, air force, or Iowa National Guard and are outside the U.S. or any of its territories.” In that case, you are eligible to email in your ballot.
Kansas also only allows online absentee voting options to UOCAVA voters that can submit their vote via email. Kansas’ Secretary of State website encourages voters to choose options for improving the security of their email.
- Jeff Gunn/Flickr
In Maine, UOCAVA voters can return their ballots electronically via email.
- Richard Cavalleri/Shutterstock
Massachusetts also allows online voting for UOCAVA voters via email.
- Nagel Photography/Shutterstock
Mississippi also allows online voting for UOCAVA voters via email.
- Rudy Balasko/Shutterstock
- Flickr/Mark Smith
Montana also allows online voting for UOCAVA voters via email.
- Flickr / Moyan Brenn
Nevada also allows online voting for UOCAVA voters via email.
- Flickr/David Saddler
New Jersey allows online voting for UOCAVA voters via email, but if submitting a vote by email, the voter also has to submit the original copy of the ballot via postal mail as well.
- John Fowler / Flickr
New Mexicoalso allows online voting for UOCAVA voters via email.
North Carolinaalso allows online voting for UOCAVA voters via email.
North Dakota allows UOCAVA voters to vote in their online portal. While they also allow these voters to submit their votes using postal mail and fax, they encourage the online portal, saying “voters using the electronic methods will expedite the process.”
Oregonalso allows online voting for UOCAVA voters via email.
- Flickr/Garden State Hiker
South Carolinaalso allows online voting for UOCAVA voters via email.
- Andrew S./Shutterstock
Like many states, Utah allows UOCAVA voters to return their ballots online using their online ballot marking tool. It also allows voters with disabilities to mark their ballots online.
- Sorin Colac/Shutterstock
Washington also only allows online voting for UOCAVA voters via email.
- Nicolas Raymond / Flickr
West Virginia also only allows online voting for UOCAVA voters via email.